WWDZzzzzz…

In no particular order…

  1. The lack of full resolution independence (or at least mention of it) is not entirely surprising given that there is really only one Apple display (that of the 17″ MacBook Pro) that could really use it.
  2. I’m hoping the menu bar background’s opacity can be adjusted using a command line switch. I don’t want the menus to be harder to target due to lower contrast. My desktop picture is covered most of the time anyway.
  3. The the new Dock item text labels provide better contrast against light backgrounds such as the bottoms of windows that are stretched to full screen height, abutting the top of the Dock.
  4. Is the ADD-like parsing shown in Mail available to all applications that display text, similar to the pop-up dictionary? I hope so.
    • Will users be able to send detected phone numbers to their Bluetooth cell phones directly without syncing? You don’t necessarily want to create a contact for every number you dial.
    • Will users be able to directly add bookmarks of detected URLs that are not formatted as hypertext links?
  5. iCal allows natural language input of dates and times. Finally.
  6. I like the binding on multi-page PDF thumbnails.
  7. Safari 3 allows Private Browsing to be engaged in the same manner as the Restart/Shutdown/Log Out commands in the Apple menu; hold down Option to make the ellipses disappear, indicating that the confirmation dialog will be skipped and the command executed immediately.
  8. The confirmation dialogs in Safari 3 are annoying. Why these when you could implement Undo? I’m guessing this was considered but discarded for technical reasons. If so, it should still be the goal. Confirmation dialogs suck.
  9. The default Download stack is a good idea and something I’ve done for years, though in the form of a simple list-view folder on my desktop with a custom icon, sorted by date.
  10. Looks like Apple might finally be getting serious about gaming. In keeping with the Bungie Halo premiere tradition, Microsoft should now (attempt to) buy Id and make their next game an XBox 360 exclusive, then release a Windows version a year or two later.
  11. The pseudo-3D reflective Dock is downright silly. Also, it means the perspective of many Mac OS X application icons is wrong when sitting on the Dock. The HIG has recommended for years that they be designed as though the user is looking at them from roughly a 45° angle. Now the Dock presents them as though they are (more logically) standing in front of you. Look at the Keynote, Pages, and iMovie icons. They just don’t look right. Utility icons are supposed to be designed as though they sit on a shelf, so most of those should look fine.
  12. Gitta Salomon must be happy that Apple is finally implementing something similar to her Piles Stacks research.
  13. At first glance, the new Finder folder icons are very bland and less visually distinct from one another, particularly in ~/. They do not leverage color as a preattentive variable, relying instead solely on shape, whose effectiveness is reduced by being enclosed in identical forms (the folder itself).
  14. Where is the ability to apply your own metadata to files? Spotlight is vastly more useful when you can actually use its metadata capabilities. Eli pointed out in conversation that metadata isn’t really sexy enough for a demo. True, but I don’t see any info about it on the site either.
  15. The Finder and QuickLook info sections are misleading on the value of document thumbnails. Beautiful, unique Apple iWork templates and PDFs are shown, not the zillions of very similarly formatted simple Office documents that most people actually work with. Believe me, it’s not as useful as it looks on the site.
  16. No virtualization. Good. Apple should not be expending their limited resources to largely support running other operating systems. Also, the market seems to already be well-served by the two existing virtualization products. Sorry, Rainer!
  17. The poorly named Back to My (.)Mac is welcomed. I find .Mac useful, but the functionality increases over the last several years have been, by Jobs’ admission, trivial.
  18. Another standards-compliant and supportive browser on Windows is a good thing. I do like it as a way of subverting Microsoft’s continual efforts to dominate the software frontier (witness Silverblight). Frankly, I think John Gruber is right that the primary motivation is search engine revenue.
  19. I find it amusing that Jobs touted desktop development in the D5 interview, saying the iPhone’s Google Maps app simply could not be done using web technologies (probably true), now tells third-parties that they have to use… web technologies.
  20. iWork and iLife announcements will probably be made at the time of the 10.5 release. New consumer software is needed to show off the already announced capabilities.
  21. The largest benefits to me will probably not be the interface, but the re-architected threading, filesystem, network, and memory management systems. Higher performance in all those areas will boost my efficiency.

Regarding the title of this post, I’m only 62% serious!

Safari & input box scrolling

When the mouse cursor is over a text input box with a vertical scrollbar, rolling the mouse wheel in either direction logically moves the content, but the wheel moves the containing window once the limit of the box has been reached. I’d much rather the scroll wheel stop once it hits the top or bottom of the text box, only scrolling the window content once the cursor has left the input box.

When switching between several tabs, why do vertically scrolling text boxes in inactive tabs magically scroll back to the top of the track?

On a very loosely related note, Safari’s Window menu should display the diamond symbol next to the titles of minimized windows, as detailed in the Aqua HIG. The guideline is worded to apply to documents (implying content that is both readable and writable), but it does make the menu more informative.

Safari tab option additions

Three tab-related additions to Safari would be much appreciated by me:

  • Tab bar grouping:

    The Galeon browser for GNOME groups tabs by opening them immediately to the right of the tab they are opened from. This makes working with many tabs in one window a lot easier, as they are automatically organized by their link relationship.

  • Opening external links in new tabs:

    Currently, regardless of whether or not tabbed browsing is used, links clicked in other applications are opened in their own window. Window clutter quickly becomes a problem when using an RSS reader to view links (one reason I detest RSS feeds without full posts).

  • Opening tabs:

    I frequently encounter pages which contain many other links I want to explore - in a different window. This currently requires manually opening a new window and drag and dropping the address from the tab to the new window, after which the original tab can be closed. Reducing this to a single contextual menu selection would be nice. I remember this function being fairly useful in KDE's Konqueror. The default menu item would be "Move Tab to New Window" with "Copy Tab to New Window" being available by using the Option modifier, assuming it is technically possible for contextual menus to have modifiable behavior like that available to menu bar items.

More on Safari click-through

I frequently drag links from browser windows to e-mails and instant messages and am absolutely obsessive about adding cover art to all of my music in iTunes; for these reasons, I would love Safari’s click-through behavior to be changed in areas related to these two tasks.

Being able to drag a link from Safari’s address bar or an image in a webpage without having to depress the Command key would be nice. Neither of these actions are potentially destructive and both are easily reversible, meaning they comply with Apple’s click-through guidelines.

While re-reading the click-through guideline, I noticed that they claim click-through resizing of windows provides “greater efficiency,” but it also requires the Command key, so the efficiency is rather reduced by having to hold a key down. Given how small the window-resize handle is, it could be probably made directly click-through aware without causing problems. Testing might prove otherwise, but that is up to them!

Click-through in Safari 1.1

I’ve written previously about one of my irritations with Safari, hoping that it would be fixed in 1.1. It is still impossible to drag an address bar link from a background Safari window without the window coming forward. You can do it while holding command, but this is one area where unmodified click-through makes sense; the action can be easily reversed or undone.

I was surprised and disappointed to read about the 10.3 Finder and iChat AV buddy list window click-through gaffes noted on Eric Blair’s weblog. These are clear violations of Apple’s click-through guideline, which advises against providing click-through for actions which are potentially destructive or difficult to recover from. I’d say both of his examples fall into the later category.

Getting from point A to point B in Safari

Safari has no way (that I have found!) to switch between the bookmarks collection and the content display panes using the keyboard, even with Full Keyboard Access enabled in the “Mouse and Keyboard” preference pane.

Another annoyance with Safari: the address field does not allow for click-through dragging. To see what I mean, try dragging a link from the address bar to a new mail message or chat window which overlays the Safari window. Fun times! This should be a simple matter, but instead you get to play ping-pong between applications to position the target correctly, then perform the actual drag operation. Blech.

Apple has a fairly loose click-through guideline, recommending only that potentially destructive and difficult to undo controls (delete buttons for example) not be responsive unless the application is frontmost. Since this is not a destructive action, I cannot understand why they chose to implement it this way. My thanks to the OmniGroup, who implemented this handy feature in OmniWeb.

Unsupported CSS in Safari 1.0

It appears that Safari does not support the text-decoration property within a span that is set to display: none until hovered (on which it is set to display: block, a la Eric Meyer’s css/edge).

I’ll post the files which revealed this issue in a day or two.

I also have seen some problems with the word-spacing property, which is supported, according to the MacEdition CSS2 support table.